Anyone who has found their mind wandering during meetings might, on reflection – and the Christmas/ New Year period is a great time for reflection – decide to improve their concentration and focus because that should improve their performance.


According to the management consultant and former Chairman of the Academy of Chief Executives in London, Hilary Briggs (, many executives may look focused and appear productive but further observation will show that they frequently struggle to concentrate and stay focused on one thing. She believes that, if key people aren’t able to contribute at 100% – particularly in board meetings or negotiations – because their mind is wandering, the result is poor decisions, closely followed by delayed decisions or ineffective use of time, as the discussion takes longer than planned


Hilary’s advice for improving concentration and focus are:

1)    Prepare in advance – it sounds obvious but how often do you really do it?

2)    Take notes – taking detailed notes helps concentration and memory.

3)    Take breaks and remember to eat – low blood sugar and grumbling tummies are unproductive.

4)    Train your mind – choose hobbies or other activities that train your brain to concentrate

5)    Build your physical stamina – long days, strenuous meetings require stamina and exercise is good way to maintain stamina


Comment: Even though they are busy in their business lives, top performers make time to do these things, Hilary believes. It’s never too late to become better and make a difference – and a New Year provides a perfect opportunity to make a start on that path.